Alaskaman: The Call

On the evening of May 19th, 2016, my heart exploded.

I discovered an article about a new race hitting North America, very North America, called the Alaskaman Extreme Triathlon.

http://www.akxtri.com

The images were stunning. I felt breathless simply staring at them. The thought of this race was literally pulling my heart strings. I was awash with intrigue, fear, excitement, and 4-year-old glee, yet certain that I had to be there.

The race is similar to ironman distance triathlons, except for a few deviations I will explain later. The most unique part of the race is that it is unsupported, meaning no aid stations, etc., Therefore, every athlete would need to assemble their own team to provide nutrition, bike support, and a pacer for the final difficult miles running up a mountain to the finish line. Even though I appreciated the primal call of the race, I have always steered away from races that require rallying my own support because I don’t like to inconvenience anyone. Naturally, I like it when friends and family cheer me on, but on their own terms, not mine. I believe endurance racing is a very personal pursuit, if people are there, great, but it is never a necessity.

This race felt different.

I wanted to share the experience with people in my life who I knew would appreciate it, and I finally possessed the courage to ask for help. Thankfully, the following fabulous few accepted the call.

 Marion is the talented photographer behind most of my stellar photos. 

Marion is the talented photographer behind most of my stellar photos. 

Team Captain: Marion Spates

Marion is my husband, business partner, best friend, and greatest cheerleader.

 Marion on location in China directing a drone shoot. 

Marion on location in China directing a drone shoot. 

He is also a filmmaker and aims to shoot footage of our adventure. 

 Sarah and I celebrating my 35th marathon finish at the San Francisco marathon in 2014. 

Sarah and I celebrating my 35th marathon finish at the San Francisco marathon in 2014. 

Team Coordinator/Psychologist: Sarah Fox

Sarah is my younger sister, running protégé, dance partner, and confidante.

 Sarah running in hot from one of the 2nd day run legs of Ragnar. She ran over 30 miles in 34 hours.

Sarah running in hot from one of the 2nd day run legs of Ragnar. She ran over 30 miles in 34 hours.

Sarah led our Ultra Wasatch Back Ragnar team in 2014 to peanut-butter infused greatness, and will be by my side charging up the mountain.

 Sarah and Eric spinning around San Francisco.

Sarah and Eric spinning around San Francisco.

Bike Tech/Native Coloradan: Eric Hill

Eric is an expert mountain biker, a coffee connoisseur, and Sarah’s boyfriend. I am fortunate to have my bike under his watchful eye.

 An example of Eric's mad skills on two wheels.

An example of Eric's mad skills on two wheels.

Plus, he’s from Colorado, my favorite place next to La La Land.

 

 Peter flew down from college to escort me in one of the Homecoming court ceremonies my Senior year. 

Peter flew down from college to escort me in one of the Homecoming court ceremonies my Senior year. 

Chief Athlete Motivator: Peter Kelly

Peter is my older brother, high school cross country team captain, award winning animator, and inspirational force behind all of this.

 Peter crushing the run at Ironman lake Placid, 2004.

Peter crushing the run at Ironman lake Placid, 2004.

Peter inspired me to become a triathlete; I hope this experience will bring him out of retirement.

There you have it! I have an amazing team, and I can't wait for us to start prepping for our Summertime adventure! 

To be continued….